The Son sees the Father face to face

And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face’ John 5:3 (NLT)

In this passage Jesus is talking about His relationship with the Father. Jesus talks about how the Father shows the Son everything He is doing, gives His Son authority to judge and the Father will show His Son how to do greater works than heal a man. He speaks about the testimony of the Father’s approval that goes with Jesus – His word and His miracles. Then at the culmination of the passage about intimacy with His Father Jesus speaks about hearing His Father’s voice and seeing Him face to face.

I was touched by this passage as I heard Jesus talking about His dad. He is trying to express intimate and private things to a group who do have no trust in Him. The height of His relationship and the thing so special to the Son was hearing His Father’s voice and seeing His face.

We have been adopted into God’s family. We have the privilege of being called His sons and heirs. We are to be shown our Father’s business, we are called to judge and do mightier miracles than heal a man. Yet in all this revelation, authority and power the thing that should grab our heart is not the wisdom, miracles and manifestations. The thing we can

Mother and Child watching each other

Mother and Child watching each other (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

hold most dear above all else is the fact that we can hear our Father’s voice and see Him face to face. This is the most wonderful thing of all.

Positioning for presence

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The question that raises in my head is can we position ourselves for an encounter with God? Are there things we can do so we can put ourselves in the ways of encounter. I guess it would be like walking repeatedly around Hollywood to put yourself in a place more likely to bump into a film star or director.

In the bible there seems to be quite random encounters with God. Many are to do with God choosing to reveal His plan and purpose to mankind. God can do what he likes. He gives us what we don’t deserve and can meet us in power just where we are. We can encounter Him after following no principles just because He loves us. But we are asked, however, to boldly seek His face so we must consider what are the ways we can seek a face to face encounter. The following are just principles that I am pondering.

Being prepared and expectant – There is something deliberate and steadfast about longing for God’s face. It is for those who have set aside their hearts ready for it and who, having a right view of God’s desire for relationship with us, know He is ready to come. There needs to be an expectation that heaven is only a breath away.

Keeping our hearts humble – This would include keeping our hearts right with God, pure and malleable. God opposes the proud and will not make his home with them.

Leaning in in intimacy – John the disciple was the disciple who felt loved by God. He positioned himself next to Jesus, leaned in and put his head on Jesus’ chest. This is the best place to encounter God. Those who want to see His face can lean in toward God and all He is and place themselves in a place near Jesus. It is the desire to share affection with Him.

Waiting on God – those who encountered often were sat with time looking towards heaven. We find David waiting for God again and again. We know waiting on God renews our strength but it also places us ready for an encounter with Him. If we say busy and distracted like Martha we could miss Jesus’ smile our face. If we sit quietly at Jesus’ feet and become familiar with the place of receiving we will be ready for his smile.

Paying the cost – Many of the encounters with God or heaven (angels) came with new revelation and purpose. Moses, Gideon, Abraham, Joshua, Mary etc had a challenge set before them. Sometimes we think that God’s call to ‘be’ means doing less or nothing, I feel it means being and doing all that is you and from a place of fullness and peace. God will come to those who He knows will say yes.

Having the character that can hold heaven – God will not blow us out of the water by appearing in his fullness and power because that will damage us. He protected Moses from the full force of His glory. Neither will he cast his pearls before swine. He can only give as much as our character can take. The deeper and greater the character the greater capacity to hold heaven within us.

Being where he is – we are called to follow him, to walk where He is. We cannot choose the time, the place or the situation. We meet Him on His turf, on his conditions where he is. He has already come to earth to meet us now we follow Him to the heavenly places to meet Him in His fullness.

Being in unity with those who are hungry – there is something so special about being united with the church in worship. His presence is far more tangible when the body is together. It is important we learn to worship together and not just as separate individuals with separate stories standing next to each other. He loves us for who we are but He is not coming back for you as an individual, but His bride made ready.

Moses sees God face to face -what does Joshua see?

picture066Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Exodus 33:10-12 (NIV)

God would speak to Moses face to face, as a friend. Moses was so accustomed and used to the presence of God that it didn’t blow him off his feet, he didn’t cower but stood up, looked God in the eye and shared his heart: just like a friend. Wow!

Joshua would enter the place of worship just like Moses. He would be there as God showed up. He was present when God spoke and chatted with Moses – so the question I have is why was it never said of Joshua that he spoke with God face to face as a friend? Was it trust? Was it lack of something? We do know it certainly wasn’t lack of being in the religious tent. He was there waiting longer than Moses. He knew that to see the presence of God he should follow someone who has experienced conversation with God face to face and keep close to them. Yet  he still couldn’t see.

Joshua was mighty man. He led the people. He entered the promise land. He led well. But no-where in the bible does it say that the intimacy with God that Moses had was ever Joshua’s experienced. We will never know what was in Joshua’s heart. There is no telling what went on in the secret place between Joshua and God.

We can be in the same place where some experience the presence of God heavily and not feel a thing. We could be next to someone who is having a vision of the heavenlies and yet not see a thing. We could be standing next to someone being bathed in the love of God and still  be lonely. It isn’t where or how we wait that brings intimacy – the key is our response to God during our secret interactions.

What conversations you have in your heart with God that builds trust and friendship so God loves spending time with you?

We can be like the place of Bethany. The town where Jesus was drawn to. The place where he loved to spend time with his friends. The place where Jesus face was commonplace. Bethany was a place of intimacy but it cost (see picture above). It meant brokenness, repentance, humility, sacrifice, adoration, passion………

Today: Soften your heart toward God and positioning yourself to see God’s face to face

Presence of God

English: Crop of File:Souvenir Seller - Moscow...

English: Crop of File:Souvenir Seller – Moscow – Russia.JPG focusing on woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been struck recently as to how ordinary most days are for most people. We try to fillour lives with exciting moments – but our every day life can be mundane. I wonder how ordinary it must have been to wander around the wilderness. There must have been a lack of fun places to go, things on tv to watch or coffee places to hang out in. This is why when God shows up the ordinary day turns into something amazing

On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled.  Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. Exodus 19:16- 18

In the middle of the empty landscape God comes down and it was rather dramatic! Thunder, lightening, billowing smoke, earthquake – what a sight. I don’t think you could have missed God’s entry into the Israelite camp even if you were the doziest of folk!

Here comes God letting all his people know that shop is open, he is town, the show is on the road and He is in the business of spending time with his people. Tragically the people did not want to spend time with God.

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” Exodus 20: 18&19

The people had become so fixated on the mountainside dramatics that  they had forgotten the tender words of the Father holding them and loving them. God comes as a Father with power. This is who He is. Let us not be so desiring the big experiences, the healings, the manifestations that we miss the Fathers face and His voice. Both come together. The gentle loving Father full of power and wonder.

We sometimes hide from God when he comes to speak with us face to face. Just as Adam hid in the garden afraid to face up to God it can be due to feelings of guilt, shame, having let him down and thinking we are inadequate. Sometime it can be afraid of the demands we feel he will put on our life or of feeling unworthy. But He is the one who calls us by our name, holds us close and  carries us when we are weak. He only wants the best for us and to help us in our troubles. We need not fear his response to our mistakes, failures or lack – He only has compassion and love for us.

God calls us up the mountain and wants us to come to meet with him. Spend time with him. Share heart with him. He turns the mundane walk of life into something else! The ordinary becomes exciting, the intimate becomes powerful, the plain becomes a wondrous adventure – 3D into 9D!

Today: Ask the Holy spirit to show you if there are any hindrances in your life that stop you freely talking to God face to face. With his help deal with these issues.